Welcome to Week 7 of the always unpredictable 2020 college football season.
We know there are big games happening! We just don’t always know who will be playing in them.
Speaking of, the biggest game of the young season is upon us as No. 3 Georgia visits No. 2 Alabama at 8 p.m.
In the meantime, we’ll keep tabs on all of that for you right here along with the big plays, the turnover doo-dads and the mascots.
Top 25 games
All times Eastern; lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
No. 15 Auburn (-3) at South Carolina, noon, ESPN/ESPN app
Louisville at No. 4 Notre Dame (-16.5), 2:30, NBC
No. 11 Texas A&M (-5) at Mississippi State, 4, ESPN/ESPN app
No. 5 North Carolina (-13.5) at Florida State, 7:30, ESPN/ESPN app
No. 3 Georgia at No. 2 Alabama (-5), 8, CBS
Boston College at No. 23 Virginia Tech (-13), 8, ACC Network/ESPN app
Trevor Lawrence threw his first interception in a year (gasp!) but that was the only thing that went wrong for the Tigers in an absolutely dominant performance against Georgia Tech. Lawrence finished with the gaudiest numbers in a half he has ever posted: five touchdown passes (the most he has thrown in a half in his career) and 404 yards passing (the first 400-yard passing game of his career). Lawrence played one drive in the second half before calling it a day for good reason. Clemson scored 52 first-half points, tied for the second-most by an ACC team in conference play. — Andrea Adelson
Miami used several big-play touchdowns to beat Pitt, a week after losing handily to No. 1 Clemson. There is plenty of good news there, because it showed the Hurricanes did not let their disappointing performance a week ago beat them again. But it was an uneven offensive performance outside those big-play touchdowns (three of the four went for 35-plus yards). Part of that is because they did not have their top receiving target in tight end Brevin Jordan. But the other part is the Hurricanes had problems establishing their running game, and D’Eriq King threw two interceptions. — Andrea Adelson
It felt like the Vols never had much of a chance after Jarrett Guarantano threw two interceptions for touchdowns early in the second quarter against the Wildcats, and they didn’t. After getting thrown around in the second half against Georgia last week, Kentucky continued to pile on Tennessee in the first half of Saturday’s game. Things aren’t going to get any easier, as Tennessee welcomes Alabama to Knoxville next week. At this point, the bar for what you’d want to see as a Vols fan is improvement. — Harry Lyles Jr.
The Ragin’ Cajuns had close calls their previous two weeks against Georgia State and Georgia Southern, and it finally caught up with them against Coastal Carolina, which is now 4-0. Louisiana didn’t play a particularly bad game; this was simply one of those games in which whoever had the ball last was going to win, and Coastal had it last. Though Louisiana’s undefeated season dreams are gone, there’s still plenty of season left for it to finish atop the conference. — Harry Lyles Jr.
An all-or-nothing performance produced just enough alls — seven gains of 30+ yards — for Sonny Dykes’ Mustangs to remain undefeated. SMU overcame four different deficits, and both teams missed long field goals in the final minute of regulation before Brandon Crossley‘s overtime interception set up the game-winning field goal. Four different receivers caught at least one 40-yard pass, and three finished with at least 100 yards. It was a heck of a by-committee performance in the absence of injured star receiver Reggie Roberson Jr. — Bill Connelly
BYU’s win was three distinct games in one: BYU bolted to a 14-3 early lead, Houston took control with a 23-0 run in the middle quarters, and BYU outscored the hosts 22-0 in the final 15 minutes. The BYU defense completely shut down an explosive Houston offense over its last four possessions, and even without star receiver Gunner Romney for much of the game, Zach Wilson went 25-for-35 for 400 yards and 4 TDs. This BYU team is for real. — Bill Connelly
You got Moss’d!
South Carolina’s Shi Smith goes way up to haul in the TD on a free play for the Gamecocks.
5-foot-10 and go get it!
South Carolina takes the lead vs. No. 15 Auburn 👀 pic.twitter.com/rl7XQjbpvD
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) October 17, 2020
Notre Dame honors McClure
Notre Dame left an empty seat in the press box to pay tribute to Vaughn McClure, ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter, who died this week at his home. McClure previously covered Notre Dame football for the Chicago Sun-Times.
A tribute to Vaughn McClure, a seat in Notre Dame’s press box today. pic.twitter.com/7jzeFxPNYr
— Tim O’Malley (@timomalleyND) October 17, 2020
The final countdown
We’re a week from the Big Ten’s return, so here are some cool Nebraska alternates celebrating the “Blackshirts” tradition of the Huskers’ defense.
The Legend of the Blackshirts ☠️
Available in stores 10/26 🎈
Worn by the Huskers in ’20 ???
— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) October 13, 2020
And while we’re on the topic, let’s all appreciate the ‘stache on Kurt Warner’s son, Cornhuskers wide receiver Kade Warner.
This is Kade Warner. He is a Nebraska football player. And he has the best mustache in America. #Huskers
“I don’t think it looks good. I just think its funny.” pic.twitter.com/u49rSfM4nU
— Kevin Sjuts (@kevinsjuts) October 15, 2020
Kick it into gear
Cincinnati made a little TikTok-esque video unveiling its road unis.
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) October 14, 2020
Unfortunately, the Bearcats’ game this week at Tulsa has been postponed due to COVID-19 cases, so they will have to wait to break these out on the field.
Make yourself at home
Georgia Southern will wear its white road uniforms at home for the first time Saturday when it plays UMass, who is playing its first game of the season, because the Minutemen’s away uniforms haven’t arrived yet from Adidas.
— Georgia Southern Football (@GSAthletics_FB) October 15, 2020
A tribute to Tom
Last month, Tom III, the beloved mascot of the Memphis Tigers, died, but his presence is felt at the Liberty Bowl once again thanks to a new billboard.
New billboard on Central outside Liberty Bowl. pic.twitter.com/DSFh4v0uyL
— Mark Giannotto (@mgiannotto) October 16, 2020
Tom III’s last game was a win over rival Cincinnati in late 2019.
Respect the game
Following a 4-0 start to the season, including a big win over a ranked Louisiana team on Wednesday, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers have become a media darling.
Several media members on Twitter have started the hashtag #RankCoastal, and ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt even gave the Chants a shoutout on SportsCenter.
The national attention hasn’t gone unnoticed at the program.
— Coastal Carolina Athletics (@GoCCUsports) October 15, 2020
Keeping the streak alive
Tulane announced earlier this month that fans would not be allowed for Friday night’s game with SMU, but it did little to deter Paul Layne.
The SMU super fan made it to his 525th straight Mustangs game on Friday. He was the only fan in attendance at Yulman Stadium.
The streak is a alive!! … Paul Layne with 525 straight SMU games #PonyUpDallas
SMU at Tulane
Total attendance: 1 pic.twitter.com/WiSXxxpvTn
— Thaddeus D. Matula (@thadfilms) October 17, 2020
A rivalry never ends
Oklahoma’s dramatic 53-45 victory in the fourth overtime against Texas might have been a week ago, but the Sooners are still not over it. Just ask Brian Bosworth, Barry Switzer and Roy Williams.
— Barry Switzer (@Barry_Switzer) October 16, 2020